Denmark

People in Denmark follow the classic power tool pattern in how frequently they use the influence techniques.  They strongly prefer logical persuading (5.80), followed by socializing, stating, consulting, and appealing to relationship.

What is noteworthy about the Danish is that they use these power tools almost to the exclusion of the ordinary influence techniques.  In our research, they scored significantly lower the global norm in how frequently they used appealing to values, alliance building, legitimizing, and exchanging.  This is not to suggest that you would never see Danes use these techniques, but you won’t see them used as often as in other cultures, and the Danes are therefore less likely to be responsive to these ordinary techniques. 

Although people in Denmark use socializing and appealing to values as two of their top five influence techniques, they are rated significantly below the norm in how effectively they use them.  Moreover, they are less expressive as a culture than the global norm.  This suggests that the average Danish business person will be more reserved than business people in many other parts of the world.  If you don’t know them, building personal and social connections with them may take more time, and they may be suspicious of socializing that appears to be too artificial or forced.  They may also be suspicious of people who communicate too grandiosely—with a loud voice or grandiloquent gestures.

Denmark has less power distance in its culture than in most other cultures in the world.  This means that there is less stratification by status and more equality and sharing of power.  They would be less impressed with displays of role authority or status and less likely to be influenced by the authority inherent in organizational positions.  Because they use appealing to values considerably less often than the norm, they are also less likely to be swayed by emotional appeals. 

To influence effectively in this culture, appeal more to the head than the heart.  Make a logical case for what you want and be willing to state your case directly.  Denmark has a sensible, no-nonsense culture.  They appreciate directness and sound reasoning.  Of course, it is helpful to build good relationships in Denmark, and they are very social once the ice has been broken, but without a logical reason for adopting your proposal, they are less likely to be swayed.  Put another way, if you are sufficiently influential without offering logical reasons for your request, they may comply with you, but they are unlikely to become committed to your course of action unless it seems reasonable.

 

The animated flag above is used courtesy of Wilson's Free Gifs & Animations.  Wilson & Associates - Copyright 1996-2010.

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